Cubs' No. 1 pick Colvin visits Wrigley
Outfielder takes batting practice after signing Tuesday
CHICAGO -- After watching Cubs pitchers hit balls into the bleachers, Tyler Colvin got to take his first swings at Wrigley Field.
Colvin, the Cubs' first-round pick in this year's First-Year Player Draft, was on hand to take batting practice with the team on Tuesday. He hit in the same group as Mark Prior and Greg Maddux, among others.
The Clemson University outfielder said he was "jacked up early on," but didn't feel any added pressure after watching the Cubs pitchers hit a few balls out of the park.
"Not at all," said Colvin, who had never been to Chicago before. "I was just hoping I could get one out, and I got a couple, so I was happy."
Colvin hopes to hit a few more into the bleachers in the future, but for the moment he'll be playing his baseball farther west. Colvin signed Tuesday and will receive a bonus of $1.475 million. He'll head to Boise, Idaho on Wednesday morning to meet up with the Cubs' Class A affiliate.
At Boise, Colvin will look to get a better feel for a wooden bat, despite showing some prowess with one on Tuesday.
"I think going to wood is the big adjustment," Colvin said. "As long as I put good swings on it, it shouldn't be that big of a factor. I just have to be more controlled at the plate."
Another adjustment will be moving so far away from his home in North Augusta, S.C., although that may be more of a problem for his family.
"There'll be a few tears shed because I doubt I'll be able to make it out there at all," said Tyler's mother, Tricia Colvin-Groomes.
Tyler's grandfather, who helped raise him, said he didn't miss one game in Tyler's three years at Clemson.
"I drove to every game whether it was Boston, Miami or wherever," Jerry Colvin, Sr. said. "I don't even think he's taken much [batting practice] that I haven't seen."
"It'll be harder on [his grandfather] than me just because I've missed more games than he has," Tricia Colvin-Groomes said. "Now he's going to be in my shoes and see how frustrating it is to be a parent and really want to be there at every game, not wanting to miss anything."
The pair will be able to watch Tyler's home games and listen to his road games on the internet.
Jerry Colvin said it was no surprise when he learned his grandson would be playing professionally.
"I knew he was going to play somewhere because in about the fifth or sixth grade he told me he was going to play Major League Baseball, and he's worked hard to do that," he said.
Tyler hit .362 with 13 home runs and 69 RBIs this season at Clemson.
When the Cubs gave him the opportunity to realize his dream, it wasn't a difficult decision for Tyler to skip his senior season.
"It's kind of tough to go back to school after being picked in the first round -- that's a great opportunity," Tyler Colvin said.
But that doesn't mean he won't finish his education. Tyler's mom said the Cubs agreed to pay for the schooling he needs to get his college degree.
"The only discussion we've had is that he's going to continue his college in between playing ball," Tricia Colvin-Groomes said. "Online courses or whatever, he's going to try and finish it here in the next little bit."
Tyler Colvin recently received a learning experience about playing in front of large crowds at the College World Series. Colvin, who was 3-for-13 in three games in Omaha, Neb., will need to know a thing or two about playing in front of crowds to be a Cub.
"To go there and play in front of that many fans was something I haven't done," Colvin said. "So hopefully it'll just build up from there."
Ryan Crawford is an asscociate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.